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The Rev. Gregory Boyle to Receive Ambassador of Peace Award From St. Norbert College

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From St. Norbert College, October 7, 2020
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, 920-362-8864

The Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding at St. Norbert College will present the 2020 Ambassador of Peace Award to the Rev. Gregory Boyle on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. The free event will be virtual. You can register at http://snc.edu/go/ambassadorofpeace.

Boyle will give a lecture, titled “The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness” and will share what he has learned in three decades working with marginalized populations at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.

A native Angeleno and Jesuit priest, from 1986 to 1992 Boyle served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles that also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city. Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during the so-called “decade of death” that began in the late 1980s and peaked at 1,000 gang-related killings in 1992. In the face of law enforcement tactics and criminal-justice policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the means to end gang violence, he and parish and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treat gang members as human beings.

In 1988 they started what eventually would become Homeboy Industries, which employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises and provides critical services to thousands of men and women who walk through its door every year seeking a better life.


The St. Norbert Ambassador of Peace demonstrates the qualities of a peacemaker in a consistent and outstanding manner: respect for persons, promotion of dialogue, nonviolent conflict resolution, reconciliation and forgiveness. The award honors Norbert of Xanten’s legacy of reconciliation by recognizing an individual who has been an influential advocate for sustainable peace in the world.

For more information, visit http://www.snc.edu/millercenter or contact Jill Olson at jill.olson@snc.edu or 920-403-3037.

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